Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review
Volume 4, Issue 15
by Rod Keller
Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review summarizes the most significant postings from the Usenet group Alt.religion.scientology for the preceding week for the benefit of those who can't follow the group as closely as they'd like. Out of thousands of postings, I attempt to include news of significant events, new affidavits, court rulings, new contributors, whatever. I hope you find it useful. Like many readers of a.r.s, I have a kill file. So please take into consideration that I may not have seen some of the most significant postings.
The articles in A.r.s Week in Review are brief summaries of articles posted to the newsgroup. They include message IDs for the original articles, and many have a URL to get more information. You may be able to find the original article, depending on how long your site stores articles in the newsgroup before expiring them.
Free A.r.s Week in Review subscriptions are available, just email me at
The St. Petersburg Times reported on July 7th that Bryan Zwan has resigned
from Digital Lightwave, a Scientology-affiliated company in Clearwater.
"The provider of optical networking products declined to give a reason for Bryan J. Zwan's departure, although chief financial officer Steven Grant said Tuesday it allows Zwan to pursue personal matters and the company to continue a management transition that started last year. Zwan, who moved Digital Lightwave to Clearwater from California in 1995, could not be reached for comment. He is a doctor of physics and a former MIT researcher, and a major contributor to the Church of Scientology's planned complex in downtown Clearwater."
One-time Scientology celebrity Leif Garrett has been arrested for drug
"On 'Entertainment Tonight', former teen idol Leif Garrett was arrested last week for possession of heroin. Leif Garrett did the Purification Rundown a few years ago, according to 'Entertainment Tonight' and some of the skag mags. He also sang on the 'Road to Freedom' album."
Kieler Nachrichten reported on July 3rd that a Scientology school in
Denmark has been deceptively recruiting in Germany.
"Matthias Knothe, Sect Commissioner of the state administration, warned about the testimonies by a non-accredited Danish private school which is connected with the Scientology organization. 'Sonderjyllands Internationale Skole' in Bjerndrup near Apenrade attempted to recruit teenagers at a business in Schleswig-Holstein. The testimony falsely stated, 'Graduating [this school] is the equivalent of a high school diploma ['Mittleren Reife'] in Germany.'
"Knothe and the Culture Ministry in Kiel stated that the grades of the school, which instructs its students according to the methods of Scientology founder Ron Hubbard, are recognized neither in Denmark nor in Germany."
Sindelfinger Zeitung published an article on July 8th about public money that has been misappropriated for Scientology in Atomdorf.
"At least 23 million marks from the Atomdorf community chest has disappeared without a trace and is alleged to have 'seeped into Scientology channels,' said ABI Chairman of the Board and sect expert Kleinman on Wednesday. There is sufficient evidence of this in eye witness testimony which has been secured and bank accounts which have been confiscated by the state criminal investigative office. Armbrust himself, who spoke for the first time after having completed a four and a half year prison term, stated that he 'was not firmly convinced, but had evidence given to him' by people who had admitted the connection to Scientology. Armbrust was sentenced in January 1996 to eight and a half years imprisonment for breach of trust and forgery of documents."
>From Pforzheimer Zeitung on July 8th:
"Horst Armbrust is not an honorable man. The man who was released two months ago on probation received help from the consumer protection organization 'Aktion Bildungsinformation (ABI)'. Its chairman, Eberhard Kleinmann, is bringing out the big guns: he says there is 'extensive evidence' that 23 of the total of 40 million missing marks ended up on 'Scientology channels.' The 'finance mafia,' said Kleinmann, pulled it off with the active cooperation of one of the primary addresses in the international notary world: Pierre Natural from Geneva, who notarized the transfer of two checks for over ten and fifteen million marks.
"Pierre Natural is known to a former member of Scientology: Oliver Schramm, who left a brilliant career for the finance sect, and who stated under oath and repeated at a press conference yesterday in Stuttgart that his former business manager, Thomas E. - who is known as a Scientologist according to documents published by the sect and donor lists - often mentioned Natural's name. Also a certain Lonnie Hawkins, a staff member of high responsibility at Newton Forrest, is also said to act as liaison to high-ranking Scientologists in the financial area of the organization which is active worldwide. Very often, said Schramm, he heard Hawkins' name mentioned on the 'Freewind,' the Scientology luxury liner in the Caribbean. Also a second witness, a Danish woman, is said to be ready to swear this in court. She has already reported on her painful experiences with the Hubbard disciples to the CDU faction in 1997."
Scientologists in Clearwater this week saw their letters to the editor
published in the St. Petersburg Times, all in support of embattled city
manager Mike Roberto.
"While I am no longer a resident of Clearwater, I lived in it from 1989 to 1997. I currently work in the city and often find myself downtown for various reasons. Over the past year, I have noticed that the Clearwater downtown area is much more alive. It seems to me that a lot more people come down there to listen to music, concerts, shopping, etc., than one or two years back. Now, Roberto is providing plans to make that area more tourist-friendly, as well as planning solutions for the increased traffic engendered by this business. For once, you have someone looking to the future of the city. He should be supported. -- Fernand Pelayo, Palm Harbor
"I feel very strongly that City Manager Mike Roberto has been doing a wonderful job of getting downtown Clearwater revitalized and growing. If you look around, you'll see the major changes and growth occurring within the last year or so. We should support him. -- Jacques Kasparian, Largo
"Anyone who is brave enough to take a leadership role in Clearwater city government has to be given some credit and support. I have lived in Clearwater for 51/2 years now, and I have to say that I have been appalled by the viciousness of attacks by the newspaper on city officials. When Roberto became city manager, I began to have hope that Clearwater could become a better community and I began to see some real, positive changes. To continue to vilify him or anyone else in city government who doesn't agree with the Times' version of how things should be done is not only sloppy reporting, it looks very much like propaganda even if it's not intended to be so. -- Debbie Sharp, Clearwater
"It is true some governments have tried to convince citizens that an idyllic community and landscape for one and all is possible without money. Constant criticism when city leaders can't do everything for free is a negative. And you don't have to travel to Havana or Moscow to find that out. Take a look at our own city -- the Depression-era look of downtown, the unpaved roads and the lack of any revitalization over the last decade -- and you'll see some change is needed. -- G. Craig Burton, Clearwater
"The $250,000 initial funding for the budget is wrong. It's way too low. Just ask anybody whose property does burn down or, worse, where damage to life happens -- all because somebody thought a well-manned and equipped fire department was a 'luxury.' -- Lisa Desormeaux, Clearwater"
Protest / Revenge Summary
John Ritson protested in London at a Scientology exhibit.
"Something called a 'What is Scientology' exhibition started today at the Selfridge Hotel. Basically it is a cross between a book launch - celebrating the fact that the price of WIS is now increased to eighty pounds - and a body-routing session. The Scientologists have hired a function room for a week and are littering Oxford Street with 'invitations' with a picture of a bridge on one side, and promises that you can 'Participate in a live demonstration of how your mind works and actually 'see' a thought'. Three suppressives turned up to the opening night. Two were recognised by our old friend Jacques Vollet of OSA and turned away, another got in, but was eventually ejected. So we leafleted outside the hotel entrance.
"Jacques Vollet however has developed a very good technique for snatching our leaflets out the hands of passers-by, but it only annoys them and makes them more eager to take the leaflet. On two separate occasions, Scientologists showed off their erudition by classifying us as 1.1, until Jacques realised that this was threatening to turn into a discussion between us and them about the 'tech' which we were more knowledgeable about than they were, and warned them off. We stopped after a couple of very enjoyable hours when we ran out of leaflets."
"Don NOTs" and Keith Henson protested in Redwood City, CA at a town celebration where CCHR had a booth.
"I picketed them for about 45 minutes, informing passers-by that the CCHR was a Co$ front group. This cut down on their traffic by more than half. I contacted a group of Christian fundamentalists who were at the parade with signs bearing such heartwarming messages as 'JESUS Will Save You From HELL'. Using a megaphone, one of them announced, 'LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, IF COULD HAVE YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE: THIS GROUP IS NOT CHRISTIAN.' They had what looked like an interesting conversation for 15 minutes or so with the two culties manning the booth, then left.
"I then contacted the organisers of the festival and told them what the CCHR was up to. They then went to the CCHR booth and told them they could not pass out leaflets outside of their booth, that they must stay inside their booth and that they were not to harass people unless they started the conversation first."
Gregg Hagglund's parents were the target of revenge this week.
"A vicious, premeditated and emotionally explosive letter from Scientology agent Peter Ramsay. This attack, containing completely false and scurrilous information about myself, and apparently based on the extortionate letter sent to Ron Sharp and Alan Barclay, has, *as intended*, devastated my parents emotionally. Further, Mr. Ramsay threatens to spread Scientology oily venomous black propaganda about me throughout my parents neighborhood, as well as the neighborhood of my brothers family and at the Church my Ottawa Family attends *on communal worship day*.
"Of course, this latest terrorist attack has my parents upset at me more than the evil criminal organisation which concocted it. Well, despite the Family upset, I *will* keep picketing! And letter writing too! Scientology did not get Charity Status in Canada and is not likely to. Now I will strip their marriage privilege with only truth and facts. And then we will see how the Co$ fares after its advertising and promotions are examined under the same conditions and restrictions as any other corporation must."
Mark Bunker reported a visit from Scientologists at his home, and an evening picket in Los Angeles.
"A neighbor asked if my friends found me. Two guys told him they had come from out of town and were trying to find me. They didn't give my name but said I was an L.A. Times photographer. I asked this neighbor to come in and look at a little recent video and he immediately picked out Dan Murnan (OT8) and Mark Perkins. 'That's them'."
"I did a solo picket Sunday night at L. Ron Hubbard Way. I was quickly surrounded by four or five people. One little weasely guy slapped my camera and then a while later grabbed it and I was immediately swarmed by the group. I was not hurt but I was very amused to hear a scream of pain from ten feet away from me. It was the same bastard who tried to have me arrested for assault in March at the CC. He claimed I attacked him. He also told me he still suffered ill effects from our last meeting. He has a painful limp and can no longer play soccer. I later pointed out he had no limp."
Mark Bunker and Bob Minton protested in Clearwater at the Fort Harrison Hotel.
"In what surely must be one of the ultimate last-minute fake-outs, Minton and Bunker, who have been leaning towards an L.A. picket all week, showed up tonight in Occupied Clearwater to picket the Ft. Homicide Hotel and document it all for XenuTV. Paul 'P.K.' Kellerhals came out at one point to yell at Bob and accuse him of blocking cars from using the drive-up at the front door. His Tone 40 failed to postulate Minton away, so he complained to one of the two police officers that Scientology had hired for the evening.
"They found out today that Bob had changed his plans. By the time XenuTV showed up at the Flag Land Base, the Sci-Fi's had pulled all the shades and shutters at the Ft. Homicide, put up the extra fencing all around the pool and the cabanas, and hired two CPD officers as security. They were apparently unable or unwilling to change the plans for the Friday night graduations, so quite a few Clearwater publics saw the protest as they arrived to celebrate their latest sucker expenditures on the Bridge To Nowhere.
"It was a peaceful picket, and concluded without incident. The security guys, cameramen, and 'handlers' all had very good questions regarding the information on the Internet, and I got the impression that they intend to check out xenu.net, xenu-city.net, and other sites as soon as they can get to a PC with uncensored Internet access."
Ted Mayett protested this week in Las Vegas.
"Big org, 2:36p-3:pm, 'uneventful', vehicles 16, little org had no vehicles at all, so maybe an event was going on. I did not want to picket, I don't want to picket anymore alone. But the stupid clams have to go terrorize elderly parents of a fellow picketer."
Rod Keller reported a protest in Washington DC.
"Arnie, Nuke and I protested at the Dupont Circle org yesterday, July 10th for about two hours. The org had a large reaction to us, sending out three body routers to bother people about personality tests. Arnie said he saw two or three people stop to talk to them, but I didn't see any. They also had OSA and OSA publics come out to hand out false and defamatory flyers.
"I was first handled by Matt Bratschi, OSA PR. He kept up a constant stream of patter for about an hour, which is quite unusual for DC. They usually sit on the wall and watch us. He started to tell me quite forcefully that it was untrue in my flyer that the Drug Free Marshals don't say they're Scientology. I was able to give two examples, the Clearwater race, where they swear in all the participants, and the schools in the Boston Herald articles. Didn't he read the Herald series? 'Why would I want to do that?' he asked. To be informed on what you're talking about, Matt.
"Sylvia Stanard was sent out for a short time. The only thing I recall right now is that she said Bob was deceptive in saying he would be in LA, then going to Clearwater, and that was as bad as any deception that Scientology might be guilty of.
"Thierry was acting very silly, imitating my walk, imitating the way I ask people if they want a flyer. He took torn-up strips of Nuke's flyer, and would go up the street trying to scare people, so they wouldn't take any flyers. 'Flyer, flyer, no thanks.' It seems to me that antics like this are what causes the community to dislike them, not the pickets."
Restored Web Site
Sue Mullaney reported that her Internet provider has restored the files
they had previously removed. Scientology had complained to them under the
Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
"I e-mailed Frontier yesterday asking if they'd heard anything about my web pages. 'Since no action has been commenced by attorney Paquette's client within the time frame allowed by the copyright statute, we will be restoring the web pages at their original URLs.'.
"These are the URLs that had been blocked and are now back up:
Basler Zeitung reported on July 7th on the continuing ban on Scientology
and other deceptive advertising methods in public.
"'I hope that the police will now react and tell people to be on their way.' Rolf Fuhrer, President of the Steinen Community Association spoke frankly last Wednesday, after the Federal Court judged as constitutional the new entry in the Basel City criminal code violations which makes deceptive or unfair methods of advertising on public land a punishable offense, thereby dismissing an official complaint by the Scientology organization and one of its members. The new criminal code, which passed the Great Council in September 1998 without major debate and with only four votes against it, did not explicitly mention Scientology, but was primarily directed at that organization, which makes its presence particularly known in the Steinen suburbs.
"The guidelines followed by the police in the Steinen suburbs now say that no more than two people may advertise at the same time, as the Commandant Representative mentioned. Otherwise an order to disperse will be given. If someone is annoyed by the advertising, then a citation will result. And herein lies the problem of the open-ended text of the law, which Maritz states is 'no simple application.' 'What does 'annoy' mean?' In their vote, the seven federal judges of the First Public-Legal Department gave to understand that there would still be some problem associated with the application of the code."
Neue Zuercher Zeitung reported on July 8th that a German ex-Scientologist has been charged in the disappearance of 21 million Swiss Franks from investments.
"The one charged is a lawyer, who today is 55 years old, and who after he passed his bar exam received a commission with the federal attorney's office, then worked for a short time as a special investigator before he transferred into the bank business, where he accumulated eleven years experience at two major banks, which included investment business. He lost money, his shattered marriage which had produced two children also weighed him down financially, as did the expenses for his membership in Scientology.
"The district attorney applied for punishment of 4 1/2 years imprisonment for advertising fraud and falsification of documents; the defense asked for release - his client had been gullible, he said, and had never intended to deceive or harm the customers, and he had never gained any financial advantage from this since he allegedly had only drawn commission as an agent."
>From Der Landbote, on July 8th:
"The former Zurich member of the Scientology Church promised customers investments to make a profit with a dividend of ten percent. The dream of quick profit was supposed to have come true without risk in New York with the help of allegedly professional American banks. The professional appearance of the lawyer and Swiss army officer had an effect. Between 1991 and 1994, about 150 investors entrusted him with double-digit millions of investments. There was only one little thing: the U.S. banks which allegedly were in the Empire State Building and on Wall Street existed - apart from a fax connection - only on paper.
"Things blew up in May 1995. The lawyer and a Scientologist employee in the EDP area were jailed for a short time in detention. Yesterday the case came before the Zurich District Court. The charges mentioned professional fraud and multiple falsification of documents. The primary accused is said to have taken in about 150 investors for up to 22 million franks.
"The District Attorney demanded four and a half years imprisonment for the main accused, ten months prison suspended for the co-accused. Both men stated that they had left the Scientology Church. They said they had given several hundred thousand franks to the organization."
The Jazz Report published a letter concerning Scientology celebrity Chick
Corea from critic Jim Beebe this week.
"I would like to publicly ask Chick Corea to stop his shameful hustling of the Scientology cult. In the recent interview with Corea, he once again shamefully shills for L. Ron Hubbard and the Church of Scientology. I was lured into Scientology years ago by Corea's relentless promotion and what I found was a very greedy and destructive cult. What Chick Corea does not reveal in his promos for Hubbard and Scientology is that he gets a nice commission on anyone he lures into this cult. Scientology's quack courses and 'counseling' are very expensive and these commissions add up. Shame on you, Chick Corea."